What’s Wrong With Being Beautiful?

I am not a beautiful person. I don’t turn heads and never have*. Then again, I’ve never wanted to. Instead, I strive to be heard for my wit, my mind, and my impressive collection of hardback books. Furthermore, I find being attractive and flaunting that attractiveness to be SHAMEFUL.

Why?

Photo by Darcy Delia on Pexels.com

Okay; okay…. I’m not talking about showing skin as an invitation for sex. That’s a little obvious of an answer. What I’m asking is why being proud of beauty is wrong. Beauty is a heritable trait, like intelligence. It takes work to look good, like how piano-playing takes practice. Only a few people are beautiful, much like how only a few people are successful.

Yet, I think intelligence, musical ability, and success are good things. They’re admirable. Sexiness? Not so much.

Again; why?

Why is it taboo to play off looks, especially as a female? Why do I look away when a voluptuously thin woman catwalks past? Why do I judge the pretty girl at the bar?

What’s so bad about beauty??

—————-

Here’s what posted over the last week:
Wednesday, February 23: Asked where you’ll all be in five years

Friday, February 25: Friday Photo. Really, Wal-mart? Really?

Sunday, February 27: Shared Pete’s fantastic quote.

Monday, February 28: “I’m a Mormon, So” I’m no druggie.

Tuesday, February 29ish: Tried a limerick about graaiins.

REMEMBER TO ENTER THE TERRIBLE POETRY CONTEST BEFORE TOMORROW MORNING (MST).

©2022 Chel Owens

*-except for that time I walked through the computer science building at college. Those boys hadn’t never seen a woman.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Gather ’round, young and old. Old Granny Chel is gonna tell you about a mystical time, four whole years ago…. I was ‘specting my fifth child -a boy- and learned I needed to stay in bed. In those days, you see, everyone left the house to do the shopping and the working and the schooling. I remember taking pictures of my bedroom and writing on Facebook -you older ones remember Facebook, don’t you?- about my vacation plans to tour Laundry Mountain and Bedside Manner…. *sigh*

‘What’s a vacation?’ Well….

Photo by riciardus on Pexels.com

Can you imagine telling this to your children? Before COVID-19, this would have been a fictional, dystopian short story. After COVID-19, however, many of us feel how close to home this hits.

I’ve reflected on life before COVID many times: When I stood in line, six feet apart, in the Costco parking lot while reading the sign about what they were out of. When I dropped my children off at school and adjusted their masks. When I’ve seen drinking fountains, couches, restaurants, and bulk candy containers taped off with warning signs attached. When a sneeze makes me jump. When a cough draws scrutiny.

My reflection hasn’t been a longing for the past so much as an astonishment at how very different life has been. I’ve often thought, No one would have guessed these things would be happening now.

Such a thought reminds me of that common interview question: Where do you see yourself in five years? The best job candidates say, “I see myself here, at your company. I’m working with a team to improve quality and productivity.” The worst say, “Oh, I plan to get pregnant, have a baby, and stop working for this company within two years. In five? I think I’ll be working for your competitor after using up my maternity leave.”

COVID-19 has been the worst potential employee, ever.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I think we’re seeing the tail end of it, which is great. I’m crossing my fingers we won’t experience another pandemic of this magnitude for another hundred years. Assuming life moves at the pace it currently is, then, where do you see yourself in five years?

It’s okay; I’ll hire you no matter what…

—————-

Here’s the run-down for the last two weeks:
Wednesday, February 9: Told you about our regular side business selling handmade all-natural soy wax candles, plus the one we’re trying to launch, Valiant Candle Company.

Thursday, February 10: Announced the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest for that week, Matt again!

Friday, February 11: Friday Photo. Don’t you just love alone time?
Also, announced that week’s Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme was a cento poem about being compassionate.

Saturday, February 12: Had a lot of fun writing a cento-style poem about …well, not really about anything. It was a mess.

Sunday, February 13: Shared a quote by someone, often misattributed so who-knows-what famous person first said it?

Monday, February 14: “I’m a Mormon, So” I likes my milder cuss words.

Tuesday, February 15: Wrote “This is the End,” a short story about The End.

Thursday, February 17: Announced the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest, Dumbestblogger!

Friday, February 18: Friday Photo! Ice cream, anyone?

Saturday, February 19: “That’s a Moray!!”

Sunday, February 20: Shared a quote by Oscar Wilde.
Also announced this week’s (and next week’s) Terrible Poetry Contest. You have two weeks to ENTER!! The theme is a limerick about grain.

Monday, February 21: “I’m a Mormon, So” I’ve been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

©2022 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Newspaper Rock

Up to now, I’ve had some experience with the tourist destinations I’ve written about: Arches, Beehive House, Capitol Reef, Deseret Industries, Evermore Park, Flaming Gorge, Great Salt Lake, Hole in the Rock, Ice Castles, Jordan River Parkway Trail, Kennecott Copper Mine, Lagoon, and the Mountains. Where I haven’t been to them, I have -at least- read about a close friend’s visit or experiences.

Newspaper Rock State Historic Site, on the other hand, is one from the history books; in this case, the history books of fourth grade. Every child learns his Utah history at that age. Ours involves Lake Bonneville, Native Americans, Mormon pioneers, and learning a song about our twenty-nine counties.

By Cacophony – Own work

The native peoples of pre-European settlement in Utah were waaaay ahead of we bathroom-stall and tree-carving scrawlers. According to a sign posted at the site, “The first carvings at the Newspaper Rock site were made around 2,000 years ago, left by people from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures” (Wikipedia).

From there, ancient passersby etched even more images local animals, human figures, symbols, and past events. Apparently, it’s “one of the largest, best preserved and easily accessed groups in the Southwest” (also Wikipedia).

How did it happen? Why?

It’s surmised that the perennial natural spring attracted [peoples from the ancient Native American tribes] to this distinct area. There are over 650 rock art designs and include animals, human figures, and various symbols, some thought to be religious in nature. These petroglyphs were produced by pecking through the black desert varnish found on the rock to the lighter rock beneath.

Visitutah.com

Best of all, this wall of petroglyphs is easily accessible. You know, assuming you can get parking at the side of the road. It’s along the access road to Canyonlands National Park. According to Visitutah.com, “There are no fees or permits required to visit Newspaper Rock or to drive the Indian Creek Scenic Byway through Indian Creek National Monument. There are fees to enter Canyonlands National Park. Just across the highway from the petroglyphs there is a picnic area and campground, which is free and is first-come, first-serve.”

By Jim from Calgary, Canada – Newspaper Rock

If you rent a car or RV after arriving at SLC International Airport, that’s a five hour drive. Maybe you’ll want to stop for lunch along the way. Or, make this one of your stops whilst staying in Moab if you can’t get over to see Arches.

—–

It’s been a busy last few weeks, but not on the blog.

Just remember to enter the A Mused Poetry contest. The theme is eccentrics and it ends on June 26th.

©2021 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Mountains

Utah has a very diverse climate -all dry, mind you, but very diverse. One thing that runs throughout the entire state besides the interstate, however, are MOUNTAINS.

© Chel Owens

The Rocky Mountains are Utah’s main range, but we also have the Oquirrh, Uinta, La Sal, Wah Wah…. Apparently, there’s a list. I live here, and I didn’t know there were that many ranges.

The Rockies are my favorite. Nearly all of my life, I’ve been able to open my door and see them. We call the part along the edge of the Salt Lake Valley the Wasatch Mountains; they are home to the most popular ski resorts Utah is famous for (Alta, Brighton, Solitude). I know it’s no Switzerland, but the powder’s not half bad. I’ve skied Alta and Brighton and hiked a lot of the other resorts during the summer. (Skiing them is much faster than hiking.)

Image by msrisamarie from Pixabay

Utah’s mountains are iconic. They’re beautiful. They’re a natural compass when I’m lost. In point of fact, I find traveling across America’s midsection to be a disconcerting experience. How do you ever know where you are? How do you know if you’ll ever get out of Oklahoma?

Utah’s mountains are diverse like the temperatures. On a recent family trip to St. George, we hiked around a (hopefully) extinct volcano. Last summer, we camped amidst forested foothills at an elevation of 5,417 feet. The campground I stayed at as a youth rests near 8,800 feet.

© Chel Owens

If there’s one thing I can never be mad at dry, desert Utah for, it’s its mountains. If you want to visit them, pick a direction. Pick a trail. Pick a chairlift if it’s winter. You won’t be disappointed.

—–

Here’s what I wrote over the last week:

Thursday, April 15: Wrote “Secret Snitch Will Scratch That Itch!” as an example for the poetry contest.

Friday, April 16: Announced the winners of the A Mused Poetry Contest. Congrats to Bruce and Doug!

Monday, April 19: Shared a quote by Robert Schuller.

Tuesday, April 20: Belatedly announced the next A Mused Poetry Contest. Get your campaigns ready!

©2021 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Lagoon

I haven’t written about tourist destinations in Utah in over a while. I started doing so as a way of remembering the local venues I might enjoy again, once COVID evaporated. I did so to let people know what Utah has to offer. I also did so as a way to fill the blog each week…

So, today’s stop is Lagoon Amusement Park.

Lagoon sign
©2020 the Standard-Examiner.

I’ve been around this tiny park throughout my life. My parents forked over funds for we children to attend a handful of times; I have hazy memories of sliding down sacks and walking through a spinning tunnel in the fun house, covering my eyes at the ‘scary’ parts of the haunted house, riding their car-driving attraction as a passenger -and wishing so hard I were tall enough to control my own vehicle!, walking beneath the white, wooden roller coaster, and staring up at the other, ENORMOUS coasters in awe.

Up until thirteen years old, wild horses could not have dragged me onto any ride that moved faster than a log flume. I certainly would never have gone upside-down! At the end of that school year, however, Lagoon hosted its usual free day for the graduating sixth-graders. I went with a neighbor and her family. Just before the park closed and just after they lowered my judgment enough to ride the Musik Express, I got on Colossus.

Colossus the Fire Dragon.JPG
From wikipedia, by Davehi1.

The experience at the time was akin to others’ descriptions of their first beer -and not the good descriptions.

Still, that broke me in. By the time I attended my first Six Flags amusement park at sixteen, I felt highly experienced. “Pshaw,” I said, “That Superman coaster is nothing. I could do it with my eyes closed…” Between Six Flags and Disneyland, I formed a snooty opinion of little, backwards Lagoon.

Until today. Yes, until today. Thanks to the internet, I’ve read up on Lagoon’s history.

© The Salt Lake Tribune, archives.

First, I learned where the name comes from. I’d often wondered; Utah is an extremely dry state and its ‘lagoons’ are usually marshlands on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. I guess the original founder/owner/head man, Mr. Simon Bamberger, christened the park thus because of the existing body of water in his initial forty acres. And, yes, it was a lagoon of the marshlands of Salt Lake. He drained some of the swamp to expand it.

Two fun facts: apparently, residents would use that water to harvest ice in the winter; and, I remember seeing people boat on that same water. -You know, all swan boat style. These days, the pond at Lagoon is rather green. I think I’d swim in it if literally no other option existed.

The other reasons I’ve come to respect our dinky amusement park more are: its history, its fight to remain open and profitable, and its unique roller coasters.

This blog post could go on for ages and ages, but I love that Lagoon tries to keep much of its original features and to purchase the dying aspects of other areas. They expanded to include something known as Pioneer Village decades ago, for example. You can get pretty darn good ice cream there.
The owners have tried to add a new ride every year since 1994, with notable exceptions.
And, apparently, five of the ten coasters are unique:

Colossus the Fire Dragon, the last Schwarzkopf Double Looping coaster still in operation in the United States (Laser at Dorney Park closed at the end of the 2008 season and was moved to Germany to become the Teststrecke traveling roller coaster in 2009); Roller Coaster, one of the oldest coasters in the world operating since 1921; Wicked, designed by Lagoon’s engineering department and Werner Stengel in cooperation with ride manufacturer ZiererBomBora, a family coaster designed in-house; and Cannibal, built in-house with one of the world’s steepest drops.

Wikipedia

They even have a water park area in the middle. It’s called Lagoon-A-Beach, another name I’ve wondered at. I mean, why not go with Lagoon’s Lagoon?

As to my thoughts of its being dinky? I just read that the total acreage is around 95. Disneyland is 100. Huh. The more you learn…

The Cannibal roller coaster is pictured at Lagoon in Farmington on Friday, July 10, 2015.
© 2020 Ravell Call, Deseret News.

If you want to visit Lagoon Amusement Park, it’s not far. Just head about 23 minutes North on I-15 from the Salt Lake City International Airport. Be prepared to pay for parking, admission, food, extras, carnival games, souvenirs…

—–

On that note, here are the things I posted over the last …weeks:

Tuesday, March 16: Announced this month’s A Mused Poetry Contest. The theme is a snappy jingle for a product that really shouldn’t be sold.

Friday, March 19: “Here I Am Now, On My Diet,” a parody of “Hello, Muddah, Hello, Fadduh” about dieting.

Sunday, March 21: Re-blogged Dumbestblogger’s excellent satirical piece, “Hands Apart America.”

Monday, March 22: Responded to Carrot Ranch’s prompt with “Last Year.”

Shared a quote by Michael Jordan.

Tuesday, March 23: ‘Twas my birthday, but good luck knowing how old I turned.

Wednesday, March 24: “Everybody’s Buying This,” a humorous jingle to inspire you to enter the A Mused Poetry Contest. The deadline is April 16!

Friday, March 26: Another humorous jingle, “Grampy’s Burlap Underwear.”

And, some reflections on nature and motherhood.

Monday, March 29: Shared a quote by Mandy Hale.

Tuesday, March 30: Learned of the passing of Sue Vincent, and shared that update with “Into Spirit.” Rest in peace, you wonderful woman.

Friday, April 2: Today.

©2021 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Kennecott Copper Mine

Ever heard of the Grand Canyon? The Great Wall of China? The Greenhouses of Almería? They all (except The Wall) can be seen from space! And, so can another Utah destination: Bingham Canyon Mine.

Bingham Canyon copper mine, UT, USA: Rio Tinto, Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. Source: Spencer Musick (self).

I’ve always known it as Kennecott Copper Mine, an alliteration only matched by Kennecott Copper Corporation and Utah Copper Corporation at Copperton.

Tongue twisters aside, this pit is ENORMOUS. Dump trucks built for a giant’s playthings trundle down into the 0.75 mile-deep hole in order to excavate (still) “450,000 short tons (400,000 long tons; 410,000 t) of material” daily (Wikipedia). DAILY!

Back when I was a child, I went to the visitor’s center with a day care class. I remember being able to fit our group into a tire from one of those dump trucks they had on display, and remember the fear of standing so near the edge of so deep a drop.

Photo by Jay H on Unsplash

Kevin and I took our boys there a while back. We watched an interesting video about mineral extraction and processing. Like, did you know Bingham Canyon Mine is a ginormous pit because the copper exists as porphyry copper deposits? They have to dig up the dirt, sift through it, burn it, chemical it, burn it again, and send it off to buyers.

At the end, they have 99.99-percent-pure copper. They also have gold, silver, molybdenum, and by-product sulfuric acid. I’ve never learned so much about metallurgy in my life!

Like with all manufacturing, however, mine operations have not been great for the environment. Sifting ponds, runoff, and waste materials have contaminated the Salt Lake Valley’s groundwater. Chemicals released from processing damaged the health of nearby residents, historically. And, it’s kind-of difficult to ignore the fact that they’ve literally changed the landscape of that area -not just with the pit, but with what was in the pit:

What’s not to love about industry, right?

Seriously, though, the Kennecott Copper Mine is worth a gander if you’ve the time. It’s a short, 36-minute drive from Salt Lake International Airport to the visitor center. We went before they had a landslide in 2013; you can purchase interesting rocks!

Photo by Jim Witkowski on Unsplash. This is an old processing area, on the way to Tooele.

—–

On that note, here are the things I posted over the last week:

Wednesday, October 7: “Tour of Utah: Jordan River Parkway.” If you need some exercise, try it out.

Thursday, October 8: Wrote a sample poem for the A Mused Contest, “EH?

Friday, October 9: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Fishman. Congratulations!

Saturday, October 10: Start of this week’s A Mused Poetry Contest! Send the over-proud hero plummeting with poetry!

Sunday, October 11: Responded to Di of Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge with “Dance Club,” and to Deb’s 42-word prompt with “A Surprising Escape.”

Monday, October 12: Responded to Carrot Ranch’s prompt in “A Dark and Stormy Man.”

Shared a quote by Joyce Meyer. Cactus hurt.

Tuesday, September 13: “Saint John City, Part 1.”

©2020 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Jordan River Parkway Trail

The Jordan River Parkway is pretty neat. -Not neat like ice castles or natural rock arches, but still neat. It’s a trail that runs nearly 50 miles; so, if you wished, you could start at Utah Lake* and walk till you reached the northwest bend of Salt Lake City proper.

©2020 Google Maps, and -hate to break it to you- this isn’t an accurate line of where the trail goes.

In fact, the trail doesn’t end in some random drop-off in Salt Lake. It becomes the Legacy Parkway Trail and continues on…

Pretty impressive.

Like with some other destinations I’ve mentioned, I’ve been to the Jordan River Parkway Trail. The funny thing is that I took the kids there, in either West Jordan or South Jordan (who named two cities that, anyway?), in order to go to a park. I only knew about the trail being there, not 20+ miles to either side of there!

Look at all I’m learning about my home state!

But that brings up another neat aspect of the trail: there are destinations like parks, access points, and BATHROOMS along it. The only downside I see is that the route travels through the flat, less-scenic, sometimes-hazy and/or gnat-infested areas of the Salt Lake Valley. Legacy Parkway is especially buggy since it skirts marshes and wetlands.

Still, a short or long stroll wouldn’t hurt. There’s a parking lot about ten minutes due East from the airport on I-80. From there, who knows where you’ll go?

—–

Here are last week’s posts:

Wednesday, September 30: “Tour of Utah: Ice Castles at Midway.” They’re cool. Literally.

Thursday, October 1: Shared my first fellow-blogger book review, with “The Sincerest Form of Poetry: Review, Q&A, and Book Release With Geoff LePard.

Friday, October 2nd-ish: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Bruce. Congratulations!

Saturday, October 3: Start of this week’s A Mused Poetry Contest! Think up a witty poem for an anniversary card and turn it in before Friday morning.

Sunday, October 4: Put Pal and Kid on a dusty trail for Carrot Ranch’s prompt this week.

Monday, October 5: Shared a quote by Coco Chanel. Look for windows.

Tuesday, September 29: Responded to Hobbo’s Mystery Blogger Award. You can still answer my questions!

*The trail at least plans to run as far as Utah Lake.

©2020 Chel Owens

Jordan River Parkway photo © traillink.com
Walden Park photo © traillink.com

Tour of Utah: Ice Castles at Midway

Have I ever mentioned how diverse the landscape of Utah is?

Photo by Sean Pierce on Unsplash

True, all of the state’s about as humid as a dry sponge on the sunny surface of Mercury.

Still, in the most populous areas, temperatures in the summertime reach over 100°F (37°C) while temperatures in the wintertime drop as low as 22°F (-5.5°C). This means we have landmarks like Arches while also bragging about the greatest snow on Earth.

(It also makes road construction a nightmare, something Utahns love to complain about but not appreciate the reasons for.)

On that side note, I wish to introduce a neat attraction that’s approaching its tenth season of operation: the Ice Castles at Midway, Utah.

Photo by Jacob Campbell on Unsplash

From an update last year, when The Homestead Resort hosted the castles:

“The Ice Castles are the work and brainchild of ice artist Christensen, who with CEO Ryan Davis and a crew of trained workers are building four large ice creations in Utah, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Canada.

“He started with a backyard castle in Alpine [Utah] followed by an ice castle in downtown Midway in 2009. Over the years, the Ice Castles have been in a variety of different Midway locations…”

homesteadresort.com

Apparently, the Ice Castles at Midway is one of several locations run by the Ice Castles company. Their website also lists Wisconsin and Alberta, Canada.

How are the castles built? What’s inside them? What else is there to see and do, and how can people see them at night?

“Construction of the ice castles [begins] in November when workers [begin] the huge task of creating the towering castles of ice.

“More than 10,000 icicles will be grown and harvested to create the acre-sized attraction …over …three to four weeks. Each icicle is then hand-placed and sprayed with water.

“This process is repeated until the castles reach approximately 30 feet. It takes the ice artisans approximately 4,000 hours to create the attraction and embed each structure with color-changing LED lights.

“The acre-sized interactive experience will feature frozen tunnels, fountains, slides, and cascading towers of ice embedded with color-changing LED lights.”

KUTV.com, 2 articles

Local celebrity Alex Boyé (and Lexi Walker) filmed one of his music videos in and around the castles, as did popular (also local) The Piano Guys. Lindsey Stirling, who has ties to Utah, filmed at the Colorado location.

The Ice Castles is another location I’ve always wanted to visit. Current prices say an adult ticket costs $14 and a child’s ticket (4-11) costs $10 -during weekdays.

Midway is straight up the canyon about an hour from our airport.

—–

★★SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I will be sharing my very first Q&A/book review/book promotion tomorrow!! You won’t want to miss it!★★

And here’s last week:

Friday, September 25: “Tour of Utah: Hole in the Rock.” Go visit, if you fancy a hike.

Also, announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest. Congrats, Dumbestblogger!

Saturday, September 26: The A Mused Poetry Contest, funny commercial edition!

Monday, September 28: Shared a quote about by Jonathan Swift.

Tuesday, September 29: Responded to Deb’s prompt with “Carl’s Popularity Problem.” I blame Charlescot.

©2020 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Hole in the Rock

In case you didn’t know already, Utah is home to some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In case you also didn’t know already, I am LDS. As such, I’ve been taught about the history of the church’s founding, the persecutions the early members faced, their various relocations in order to build their Zion, and the fun they had settling Utah.

By Charles William Carter; American (London, England 1832 – 1918 Midvale, UT) – Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, Historical Photographs and Special Visual Collections Department, Fine Arts Library, 119.1976.1501

Upon reaching the barren, harsh, dry, uninhabitable area now known as Utah, the Mormon pioneers knew they’d found a winner. Not long after establishing Salt Lake City, Brigham Young (their leader) sent groups off to set up nearby areas. I learned that he sent those groups about a wagon’s ride away from each other, but can’t find a source for that information. Whether he did or not, there are towns all down our interstate and this makes present-day gas station stops very convenient.

What does that potentially-inaccurate history have to do with a hole in a rock? I’m glad you asked!

Sometimes, the early settlers of Utah faced challenges. Hordes of crickets threatened crops in the Salt Lake Valley in the first full year of planting. Tropic, Utah could only get irrigation after building a ten-mile long canal. And, weary members of the San Juan Expedition attempting to find a route to the southeastern corner of Utah found impassable cliffs -then, miracle of miracles, stumbled upon “a narrow, steep, and rocky crevice and sandy slope that led down to the river” (Wikipedia).

By G. Thomas at en.wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain

They named it Hole in the Rock. Promptly thereafter, they began chipping away in order to move 250 PEOPLE, 83 WAGONS, AND OVER 1000 HEAD OF LIVESTOCK through this hole. I kid you not.

Six months later, they were “ready;” for, the wagons still needed assistance. They used ropes, plus wooden beams supported by posts jabbed into holes they drilled in the rock walls to carefully lower the wagons.

This is another famous site I have not visited, but my son has. His youth group camped nearby and hiked the area, reimagining and experiencing what their pioneer ancestors did. If you want a similar vacation adventure, Hole in the Rock is about seven hours south of Salt Lake International Airport (or 100 hours if you walk).

Author’s note: there is also a tourist destination called Hole N” The Rock, located near Moab. It’s worth a kitschy gander.

—–

Here’s this week’s breakdown:

Wednesday, September 16: “Tour of Utah: the Great Salt Lake.” It’s iconic!

Thursday, September 17: Wrote an example of funny poetry for that week’s contest: “Chuckie Bob and His Award.”

Friday, September 18: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Hobbo.

Saturday, September 19: Opened the A Mused Poetry Contest! The subject is seasonal haiku (senryu). Results to be posted soon!!!

Sunday, September 20: Scratched a nagging discomfort with “R.B.G. and Why It’s Difficult to Be a Woman.”

Monday, September 21: Shared a quote about not worrying about The Joneses.

Thursday, September 24: Wrote my own seasonal poetry, “A Mused Seasonal Haiku…” for this week’s theme.

The winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest will be posted by this evening!

©2020 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is one of the most well-known features of Utah. After Arches, Mormons, and Mormons; nearly everyone associates Utah with “[t]he largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere” (Utah.com).

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

In elementary school, I learned that it is what’s left of an ENORMOUS Lake Bonneville that covered Utah, Nevada, and Idaho a mere 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. I also learned of its salinity (about 12%, more than the ocean) and that people used to float in it as a recreational gimmick.

I’ve been there; from biking across the causeway (Antelope Island Road) to the lake’s main attraction, Antelope Island, to touring the island’s bison reserve and trying to enjoy the island’s beach.

Photo by Erin on Unsplash

Yep; trying.

You see: the Great Salt Lake is really cool, but is home to some unpleasantness in the hotter months. I’m talking brine flies and mosquitoes. If you’re not far enough inland or far enough water-bound, they’re gonna bite ya.

The Great Salt Lake has a smell. In winter, we refer to it as “The Lake.” Catchy, I know. The light stench is a mix of moldy sea and salty brine flies.

It’s not all flies and stink, however. The lake is pretty amazing. Utah.com claims that swimmers can still float. Their website reminds us of the countless animal (mostly bird) refuges in the marshes of the lake’s edges. We Utahns enjoy amazingly beautiful vistas, whether hiking East of the lake or on Antelope Island itself.

The Great Salt Lake’s science facts are also nifty:

  • “Four rivers and numerous streams empty into the Great Salt Lake, carrying dissolved minerals. The lake has no outlet so these minerals are trapped. Continual evaporation concentrates the minerals. Several businesses extract table salt and other chemicals from the lake water” (Utah.com).
  • In winter, Utah experiences a Lake Effect similar to being near the ocean; problem is, this creates poor air quality when coupled with the Rocky and Oquirrh Mountains.
  • And, as mentioned, it is the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world, nicknamed ‘America’s Dead Sea.’

Bonus fact: because of the lake and its surroundings, Utah has the really awesome, surreal Bonneville Salt Flats nearby.

Here’s this week’s breakdown:

Wednesday, September 9: “Tour of Utah: Flaming Gorge.” Try the river-rafting.

Friday, September 11: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Richmond Road.

Saturday, September 12: The second A Mused Poetry Contest! The subject is Warning Labels. Let me know if your poetry submission doesn’t work.

Another COVID-19 update. We’re all in this together.

Sunday, September 13: My entry for Carrot Ranch’s prompt, “Time in a Radio.”

Monday, September 14: Shared a quote from Linda Andersen.

And, “Science Fiction?” Is it?

©2020 Chel Owens